Wright wins CLRC!
Redcar’s Charles Wright delighted the ECCO Arena crowd by winning the prestigious Championship League Riders Championship last night. Wright, who endured a tough start to the meeting, came through the last chance qualifier before winning a pulsating final. The final saw Chris Harris finish 2nd with Ben Cook 3rd whilst Redcar’s Danny King finished 4th.
The meeting started with a win for Birmingham’s Justin Sedgmen despite educated pressure from Rory Schlein as the Birmingham skipper made an ideal start to the meeting. Lewi Kerr made an impressive start in heat 2 as the former Bears man rode intelligently to hold off Richard Lawson for the win to start his evening in perfect fashion.
Heat 3 saw the ever improving Ben Cook take a stylish win as he pulled away from Ryan Douglas but with the Bears skipper, Wright in 3rd, Wright’s night had not started as many hoped. Heat 4 saw a super battle as King and Harris had a fierce battle for the win with King using the inside line to get the better of ‘Bomber’ to send the Redcar fans wild.
Berwick’s Rory Schlein won heat 5 after a superb gate with Wright battling his way through the pack to beat Harris and Lawson for 2nd to give him another 2 points in his battle for the title. Richie Worrall won a superb heat 6 as he passed Ryan Douglas and Jake Allen in the early stages to give him 4 points from his opening 2 outings.
Heat 7 saw further excitement for the ECCO Arena crowd as King comfortably took his 2nd win of the night whilst Luke Harrison got his first taste of the meeting with Craig Cook withdrawing from the meeting due to a lack of equipment. Leon Flint surprised onlookers by winning heat 8 whilst Ben Cook passed Kerr for 2nd to put the Australian in a solid position.
Worrall and Flint then threw the bikes at each other in heat 9 with Worrall getting the win to put him into contention for honours. Heat 10 saw Ben Cook pass his Poole teammate Richard Lawson in the early stages whilst King then passed Lawson to add another vital 2 points to his tally. Kerr reignited his challenge with a heat 11 win whilst Wright made a startling inside pass on Allen to gain another 2 points in his quest for the title.
Heat 12 saw Harris win after a superb pass on Douglas whilst Cook was looking ominous as he took another win in heat 13. Heat 14 saw Harris pick up yet another win whilst Kerr ensured he remained in the thick of the action with another 2 points. Lawson took the win in heat 15 ahead of Flint whilst heat 16 saw Wright win with King in 2nd to send the Redcar fans into raptures as both enhanced their chances of winning the title.
Heading into the final round of heats, the standings saw Lawson needing a win to reach the last chance qualifier, Worrall needing to score to give himself a chance whilst Kerr also needed to register a score to secure his place in the last chance qualifier. In the second half of the field, Wright needed at least a 2nd to secure his spot in the last chance qualifier with Ben Cook and Chris Harris looking for a minimum 2nd place to secure themselves straight passage into the final. Finally, King needed a win to strengthen his place for a spot in the final whilst Flint needed a win to give himself a shot of a place in the last chance qualifier.
Heat 17 saw one of the races of the night as Douglas, King and Kerr had a superb battle for the win with Douglas winning but with King in 2nd, his chances of a place in the final were hanging by a thread. Heat 18 saw Wright win to cement his place in the last chance qualifier but it was disappointment for Flint who finished last which ended his hopes of glory.
Chris Harris won heat 19 to secure his spot in the final whilst Cook claimed 2nd to join ‘Bomber’ in the final which sent both Bears into the last chance qualifier. The final qualification race saw Lawson win to sneak into the last chance qualifier.
The last chance qualifier saw an awful crash as Kerr, Wright and Lawson collided with Lawson hitting the deck at speed. After Lawson made his way back to the pits after some medical treatment, he took his place in the re-run to a great reception from the crowd. The re-run saw King shot from the gate to win comfortably whilst Wright rode a superb race to swoop under Kerr on bend 4 of the penultimate lap to join his teammate, King in the final.
The final saw Wright and King collide on the opening bend with the referee, Willie Dishington inviting all 4 back for a re-run. The re-run saw an absolutely superb advertisement for speedway as Harris gated but Wright had other ideas as the Bears skipper stormed up the inside of Harris on bends 3 & 4 of the opening lap and then rode superbly to hold off the hard charging Harris plus the equally impressive Ben Cook. However, it was Wright’s night as the Bears skipper gave the home crowd a night to remember as Redcar added more silverware to their ever burgeoning trophy cabinet.
1. Rory Schlein (Berwick) = 7
2. Justin Sedgmen (Birmingham) = 6
3. Troy Batchelor (Birmingham) = 4
4. Kye Thomson (Edinburgh) = 3
5. Richard Lawson (Poole) = 9
6. Richie Worrall (Plymouth) = 8
7. Paco Castagna (Edinburgh) = 4
8. Lewis Kerr (Oxford) = 10
9. Charles Wright (Redcar) = 14 WINNER
10. Ryan Douglas (Scunthorpe) = 9
11. Craig Cook (Edinburgh) = 0 Withdrew
12. Ben Cook (Poole) = 13 THIRD
13. Chris Harris (Glasgow) = 14 SECOND
14. Jake Allen (Scunthorpe) = 5
15. Danny King (Redcar) = 12
16. Leon Flint (Berwick) = 7
17. Luke Harrison = 0
18. Sam McGurk = 0